CTRE 2017 logoAkureyri - North-Iceland

On behalf of the Christmas tree IUFRO Workgroup, The Icelandic Forest Research  hosted the 13th International Christmas Tree Research and Extension Conference. The event was held just outside the town of Akureyri North-Iceland 4-8 September, 2017.

About the Christmas tree IUFRO Workgroup

The scope of this unit includes all aspects of Christmas tree and greenery production including nutrition, genetics, propagation, diseases, arthropod pests, weeds, production techniques, post-harvest quality, and marketing. While the indoor display of forest trees to celebrate Christmas is a centuries old tradition, establishment and culture of plantations specifically for Christmas tree use is a relatively new development. During the last 20 to 30 years, as the worldwide consumption of real Christmas trees has risen to exceed 80 million annually, the science and technology behind plantation Christmas tree production has developed rapidly, particularly in Europe and North America. This unit provides a forum for the exchange of scientific research results among researchers, students, extension agents and extension specialist who work professionally with the Christmas tree.

Program and publications

Below you will find the Conference Program with links to most of the presentations given at the event. A preliminary Book of Abstracts is also to be downloaded. The final one is to be expected Autumn 2018 the latest.



3 September


18.00 - Registration and poster setup
19.00 - Welcome reception / dinner

4 September

Presentations / Field tour 1

7.00 - Breakfast

- Opening of the Conference. Gary Chastagner, Chairman of IUFRO Christmas tree working group
Forest Research Activity in Iceland. Edda S. Oddsdóttir, Director of Icelandic Forest Research
Download9.40 - Break

SESSION 1: Growth Conditions
Coning and shoot growth response of Fraser fir trees to paclobutrazol application. Bert Cregg Download10.30 - Somatic embryogenesis in Fraser fir (Abies fraseri): optimizing levels of abscisic acid, polyethylene glycol and maltose for maturation. Robert Thomas, Lilian Matallana, and John Frampton
Download11.00 - 'SE fluidics system' for plant production. Ulrika Egertsdotter, Cyrus Aidun

11.30 - Evaluating nitrogen sources and using drones in Christmas tree production. Jill O'Donnell

12.00 - Lunch

12.45 - Magnesium deficiency and foliar fertilization in Abies nordmanniana. Rune Vesterager Asmussen
Download13.15 - Effect of different cultivation practises on the survival and growth of Icelandic Christmas trees in the early growth stage on agricultural fields. Else Møller
DownloadSESSION 2: Market
13.40 Christmas tree market in Iceland. Jón Ásgeir Jónsson
Download14.00 Field tour – Eyjafjörður area: Christmas tree grower (Reykhús), Refreshments at Kjarnaskógur recreation forest (Skógræktarfélag Eyfirðinga). Nursery - Christmas tree market (Sólskógar)

19.30 - Dinner at Hotel Natur

5 September

Presentations / Poster session

7.00 - Breakfast

SESSION 2: Market (continuing)
8.30 - A Study on Expansion of Christmas Tree Demand in Korea Utilizing Big Data. Hyun Deok Seok.
Download Prospects of Christmas Tree Market in Korea

Download Forestry and Forest Policies in Korea

SESSION 3: Tree health (pests)
9.00 - Web blight on Christmas trees in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Gary Chastagner and Chal Landgren.
Download9.30 - Diseases, pests and nutrient deficiencies on Swedish Christmas trees. Martin Pettersson, John Frampton, Jonas Rönnberg, Venche Talgø

10.00 Break

10.30 - Heterobasidion root rot predisposing noble fir to Cryphalus bark beetle attack. Justesen, Mathias Just Justesen, Iben Margrete Thomsen and Hans Peter Ravn

11.00 - Evaluating “softer” insecticides for aphid control in Oregon, USA. Chal Landgren, and Judy Kowalski
Download11.30 - Rapid and reliable detection of three Neonectria species occurring in conifer and deciduous trees. Martin Pettersson, Venche Talgø, Jorunn Børve, Arne Stensvand, John Frampton, Jonas Rönnberg and May Bente Brurberg

12.00 Lunch

13.00 - Species variation in susceptibility to the fungus Neonectria neomacrospora within the genus Abies – Danish experiments. Ulrik Braüner Nielsen, Jing Xu, Knud Nor Nielsen, Ole Kim Hansen, Venche Talgø and Iben Margrete Thomsen
Download13.30 - Inoculation of young Norway spruce rooted cuttings with Neonectria fuckeliana. Martin Pettersson, John Frampton, Venche Talgø, Bo Karlsson, and Jonas Rönnberg, Jonas

14.00 - Family Variation in Resistance to Phytophthora root rot in Eastern White Pine. John Frampton, Martin Pettersson and Anne Margaret Braham

14.30 Break

15.00 - Fantastic bugs and where to find them: the biology of chalcid seed predation. Lilian Matallana, Kelly Goode, Mathew Bertone, Robert Jetton and John Frampton
Download15.30 - Interactions Between Root Rotting Phytophthora, Abies, and Environment. Katie M. McKeever and Gary Chastagner

16.00 Coffee


19.30 - Dinner at Hotel Natur

6 September

Field tour 2

7.00 - Breakfast
8.30-21.00 Field tour 2 - Mývatn area: Hólasandur, Lake Mývatn, Dimmuborgir (lava field), Mývatn Naturebaths, Námaskarð (hot springs area) Krafla (geothermal power plant). A tourist tour mixed with information about afforestation in eroded areas

7 September

Presentations / Field tour 3

7.00 - Breakfast

SESSION 4: Postharvest
8.30 - Effect of postharvest exposure to exogenous ethylene on needle loss from Christmas trees in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Gary Chastagner, Annie DeBauw and David McLoughlin.

9.00 - Variation in the quality and keepability of wreaths made from noble fir boughs from low vs. high elevation sites in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Gary Chastagner and Marianne Elliott.

9.30 - Christmas tree needle separation: A marriage that ends on the carpet. Lilian Matallana, Kelly Goode, Marcela Rojas-Pierce, Katie Coats, Gary Chastagner, John Frampton and Ross Whetten.
10.00 - Break

- Postharvest Christmas tree research in NC. Jeffrey H. Owen
Download11.00 - Postharvest Characteristics of Summer-cut Abies procera and Abies nordmanniana Christmas trees in Dependence of Watering Treatments. Lawrence Ranson
SESSION 5: Breeding and genetic
11.30 - Fraser fir cone control update. Jeffrey H. Owen.
12.00 - Lunch

- Evaluation of cone control options in Fraser fir plantations. Dana Ellison.
13.30 - Provenance variation in phenology and frost tolerance in subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) planted in Denmark and Iceland. Brynjar Skulason, Ole Kim Hansen, Ulrik Braüner Nielsen.
Download14.00 Seasonal development of cold hardiness and needle retention in Christmas tree plantations in Michigan. Bert Cregg

14.30 - Field tour – Vaglir NF: Seed orchard in greenhouse, Natural birch forest, Icelandic forest service activity in Vaglir NF, for example Christmas tree production.

19.30 - Banquet at Hotel Natur

8 September

Presentations / Business meeting

7.00 - Breakfast

SESSION 5: Breeding and genetic (continuing)
- Ensuring Christmas tree seed supply through new seed orchard development in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Judy Kowalski and Chal Landgren.
Download9.00 - New Danish Nordmann fir seed orchards – are they improved? Ulrik Bräuner Nielsen.
9.30 - Break

- Business meeting

12.00 - Lunch

13.00 - Departure